Stevie Frail has tipped the five players released from Celtic’s double winning youth team squad to make the grade.
After Saturday’s final league match against Hearts the hoops coach paid tribute to the players who formed the backbone of his double winning side.
Defenders Stephen O’Donnell, Matty Hughes and Keiran Brennan missed five matches in total over the league season with Callum Bagshaw and Jordan Lowdon outstanding midfielders.
The lack of a reserve league to further develop those players is a major obstacle to overcome but at the age of 19 all five players are now looking for the weekly challenge of first team football.
Clubs on both sides of the border have expressed interest in the players with Frail singing the praises of the players as they prepare for life outwith Celtic.
“All of the players that have been released have been a major part of our success,” he admitted. “After the game against Hearts on Saturday we highlighted that in the dressing room.
“It’s a horrible time of the year, their last game at u-19 is hard but for it to be your final game at a club that you’ve been at for years is heartbreaking.
“It’s taking away their dream but I’m certain that these kids will make a career in the game.
“Their attitude since being told that there wouldn’t be a contract for them has been absolutely first class but I didn’t expect any other type of reaction.
“What we got from each player was that they said they were desperate to win the league and cup. They were always desperate but they tried even harder. Every single one of them did that. As young men we are very proud of them.”
Frail added: “It might sound strange but we think that they are all good players. Whoever is looking at them will find kids that are hungry, they are all good boys and great to work with.
“I’ve never had a minutes trouble from any of them, they enjoy themselves but know where the line is drawn and very very rarely have they crossed it.
“They are typical 19-year-olds with a lot going on but all they want to do is make themselves a career.
“Whoever signs them up will be getting good footballers, they can pass and move the ball, they understand the game and I’m sure that they can make a career of it.
“I’ve spent a lot of time with them over the last two seasons which is really just a short period. It’s hard seeing them move on and I wish all of them all of the success in the world.
“Their attitude, commitment, desire and hunger is first rate and they deserve to succeed.”